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Receiving unwanted nudes

It’s not OK to send nudes, sexual images or sexual videos to someone who didn’t ask for them.

In short:

  • Receiving an unwanted nude or sexual image or video can be upsetting.
  • You can report unwanted nudes and sexual images or videos to the service or platform used to send it.
  • Sending and receiving nudes and getting sexual online is not a necessary part of a relationship. 

 

Trigger warning

Heads up: This page discusses nudes, consent, dating and pressure, which may be distressing for some people.

Unwanted nudes

If you receive a random nude of someone, it can be creepy and upsetting. That’s because it makes the interaction between the sender and you sexual without your consent, which is sexual harassment.

  • An unwanted nude can show a male, female or transgender body, or part of their body (like a ‘dick pic’). 
  • It can arrive via a direct message, text, AirDrop, Nearby Share or email.
  • The person shown may be the one who shared it, or someone else may have shared it without the person in the image or video even knowing. Either way, it’s not OK if you didn’t agree to receive it.
  • Young women are more likely than young men to receive nudes they didn’t ask for, but it can happen to anyone.

People may send nudes because: 

  • they think it’s seductive or a turn-on
  • they think it’s a normal part of flirting or dating
  • they’re hoping to receive a nude in return
  • they're trying to shock you or get a reaction from you
  • they plan to trick you into sending a nude back so they can blackmail you – this is called ‘sexual extortion’.

Anyone who wants to send a nude should think about these things first:

  • Asking if it’s OK before sending anyone a nude of yourself demonstrates mutual respect and trust.
  • Sending a nude of yourself doesn’t mean you’ll get one in return. The other person doesn’t ‘owe’ you a picture because they’ve received one.
  • Sending and receiving nudes and getting sexual online is not a necessary part of a relationship. 
  • Sending a nude of someone else without their consent is image-based abuse and it’s illegal – find out more.
  • A person who asks for, accesses, possesses, creates or shares sexualised images of someone under 18 may be at risk of criminal charges – even if you’re both young and you agreed to it. Youth Law Australia recommends that you never take or share prohibited or sexual images of someone unless they are over 18 and you are sure they have said it’s OK.

What should I do if I'm sent an unwanted nude?

Option A: Tell them it’s not cool

If you know the person and you’re comfortable with responding to them, delete the image or video and let them know that nudes are not welcome. Sometimes in relationships people do things without thinking about the other person and just letting them know you don’t like it will make them change their behaviour.

You could even respond with some humour or a light-hearted meme to let them know you’re not cool with it.

Option B: Take action

You may think you should be able to handle the situation yourself, but talking it through with someone else can help you decide what to do and how to deal with any impacts. Try reaching out to an adult you trust, like a family member or teacher – you could show them this webpage so they understand what’s going on.

If someone sends you a nude or sexual image or video online, you can report it in-app or through the service or platform used to send it. This is especially important if they keep harassing you. Reporting them can help keep things safe for others too.

Follow these steps:


  1. Collect evidence

    Take a screenshot or recording of any message sent with the image or video, including the sender’s profile name, the date and the time. But don’t take a shot of the nude itself, as this can be a crime. If you received the nude via email, keep the email as evidence but don’t download the image or video. You can read our advice on collecting evidence, including how to screenshot on an iPad or iPhone, Android device, Mac or Windows.


  2. Report it

    You may like to report this to the police. Also, if it was sent through social media, a game or another app you can report it directly to the service or platform – they may decide to suspend or cancel the account that was used – check The eSafety Guide for more information about how to do this in-app. Most phone and email providers also offer advice about how to deal with communication that’s unwanted, obscene, abusive or intended to harm you – you can try these links:


  3. Prevent further contact

    Change your account settings to mute, hide or block unwanted contact. Check The eSafety Guide for links to common services and platforms. Change the privacy settings on your device to make sure people can only AirDrop or Nearby Share with you if you agree. You can also block people and download apps that restrict incoming calls and messages. 


  4. Get more help

    If you’re still feeling uncomfortable or a little out of your depth, that’s normal. You can always speak to someone at the free Kids Helpline (for 5 to 25 year-olds) or find another counselling and support service that’s right for you. 

Something has happened

Talk to someone you trust, so you have support.

Collect evidence, report and prevent further contact. Take a screenshot or recording of any message sent with the pic, including the sender’s profile name, the date and the time. But don’t take a shot of the nude itself, as this can be a crime. You can report it to the police if you like, then delete the pic and change your privacy settings so people can only share with you if you agree. 

Get more help. You can always speak to someone at the free Kids Helpline (for 5 to 25 year-olds) or find another counselling and support service that’s right for you.

Tell them they’re going too fast. You don’t ‘owe’ them anything just because they sent a nude to you. Nudes are not a necessary part of a relationship, no matter how long people have been together. Delete the image. 

Get more help. You can always speak to someone at the free Kids Helpline (for 5 to 25 year-olds) or find another counselling and support service that’s right for you.

Last updated: 05/02/2024